The Revenant director Alejandro G. Inarritu took home the top prize at Saturday night’s Director’s Guild of America Awards and didn’t waste any time going after Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, telling reporters in the press room that Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern border “betrays the foundation” of America.
As he had done at last year’s Oscars, the Mexican director used his acceptance speech to lampoon critics of illegal immigration. He said he had walked through the kitchen of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel early on in the night:
“There [were] more than 120 Mexicans in the kitchen that serve you hot food, and that was the best party I had,” Inarritu joked in his acceptance speech, according to the Wrap. “That’s not the people Donald Trump has described at all, let me tell you.”
In the press room after the show, Inarritu told reporters that Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border would “betray the foundation of this country,” and added that “the power” of America “relies on diversity.”
“To try to build a wall to stop that is exactly to betray the power of this country, what has been absolutely outstanding, admirable and unique in the United States,” he added.
Inarritu has made no secret of his contempt for Trump over the past year.
The director began speaking out against critics of illegal immigration at last year’s Academy Awards, when he picked up Best Director for Birdman. During his acceptance speech, Inarritu said he hoped that the country’s immigrants “can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.”
The director formally came out against Trump in November, lending his name to a letter signed by several Hispanic cultural leaders denouncing the candidate: “We refuse to keep silent in the face of the alarming declarations of the candidate for presidency of the United States, Donald Trump,” the letter read.
At the LACMA Film + Art Gala in Los Angeles in November, guest of honor Inarritu said no human being “should be named or declared illegal.”
“I would rather propose to call these people ‘undocumented dreamers,’ as were most of the people who founded this country,” he said at the time. “By naming them that, we can start a real and human conversation for a solution, with the most precious, forgotten and distinguished emotion a human being can have: compassion.”
And in January, the director told WNYC’s Kurt Anderson that Trump’s hardline position on illegal immigration stems “from ignorance,” and said he pities the billionaire businessman.
“To be so rich and so bitter… It’s a poor man whose only possession is money, and that’s the lesson we all have to learn,” he said.
Inarritu’s historic win Saturday night — he became the first director to win the night’s top award in back-to-back years — throws another monkey wrench into what’s become one of the more interesting Oscar races in recent memory.
Check out the full list of DGA Award winners here.